Can daily supplements be harmful?

While many people safely consume vitamin supplements on a daily basis, it is possible to take too high a dose, which can lead to adverse side effects. Overdose of certain vitamins can lead to serious complications and, in rare circumstances, even death.

Can daily supplements be harmful?

While many people safely consume vitamin supplements on a daily basis, it is possible to take too high a dose, which can lead to adverse side effects. Overdose of certain vitamins can lead to serious complications and, in rare circumstances, even death. Too much vitamin C or zinc can cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Too much selenium can lead to hair loss, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, and mild nerve damage.

Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects on the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and harm or complicate their health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful, even life-threatening consequences. Getting our nutrients straight from a pill seems easy, but supplements don't necessarily deliver on the promise of better health.

Some can even be dangerous, especially when taken in higher than recommended amounts. If there is a serious problem associated with a dietary supplement, manufacturers should report it to the FDA as an adverse event. The FDA may withdraw dietary supplements from the market if they are found to be unsafe or if claims about the products are false and misleading. Dietary supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, soft capsules, gelcaps, powders and liquids.

The FDA has established good manufacturing practices (GMP) that companies must follow to help ensure the identity, purity, concentration and composition of their dietary supplements. Some women also take soy as a supplement because the plant contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones that can help relieve menopausal symptoms. Many supplements have not been well tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children. Dwyer says that vitamin D, calcium, and folic acid are three nutrients he can consume in excess, especially through supplements.

Some dietary supplements can help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients if you don't eat a variety of nutritious foods. A surprising study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which examined the data of nearly 40,000 women over 19 years, found that, on average, women who took supplements had a higher risk of dying compared to women who did not take supplements. Folic acid supplements are strongly recommended for women planning a pregnancy to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. You are more likely to experience side effects from dietary supplements if you take them in high doses or instead of prescription drugs, or if you take many different supplements.

Tell your healthcare providers (including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and dietitians) about any dietary supplements you are taking. Half of all American adults, including 70 percent of those 65 and older, take a multivitamin or other vitamin or mineral supplement regularly. When vitamins are taken as supplements, they are introduced into the body at levels that could never be achieved by eating the healthiest diets.

Sylvia Sako
Sylvia Sako

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